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MSL Feathers The Nest With Martin Audio

The expanding Colombo Group, headed by former fabric head of promotion Steve Ball and Riz Shaikh, recently added its first live/dance club to a portfolio of London bars and gastro-pubs.

Occupying the site of the former Bardens Boudoir in Dalston, East London, is The Nest, where technology specialists Middlesex Sound & Light (MSL) were tasked with designing a flexible sound system around Martin Audio components.

Steve Ball and Matt Monhardt, general manager of the 300-capacity venue, had specifically requested Martin Audio. “Martin Audio is the best sound system we’ve heard in club situations,� he said. “We told Middlesex Sound & Light that we wanted Martin Audio loudspeakers and amplifiers because the impact and precision are so much better.

“We also wanted flexible zoning, allowing as much bass as possible on the tiny dance floor, while at the same time enabling the music level to be adjusted at

the bar and seating area; MSL has enabled us to do that.�

The owners spent around £500,000 developing the empty shell, with Riz Shaikh redesigning the rectangular concrete basement, offset with salacious neon signs, adding bars and alcoves.

At the same time, MSL fulfilled the challenge that the sound system should function early evening as a conventional live sound reinforcement rig and later as a hard surround dance sound, with the concrete floor isolating the heavy thud of a pair of Martin S218+ (2 x 18�) subs.

At the same time, by designing the venue into three zones, controlled in a BSS Soundweb London DSP environment, they can ensure that customers in the alcove seating, or at the newly-appointed bar do not have full exposure to the potent system.

Handling the stage and dance floor sound respectively is a pair each of flown Martin Audio Blackline F12+ and F15+ multi-angle enclosures, with the S218+’s handling the sub frequency extension. These are driven by a pair of Martin Audio MA5.2K amplifiers.

For the bar area MSL have turned to Martin Audio’s AQ range, deploying eight of the architectural AQ6 (6.5�) enclosures along with and AQ212 (2 x 12�) sub and AQ215 (2 x 15�) sub, to deliver a more hi-fi sound at lower SPL.

Elsewhere a pair of Blackline F10+ enclosures provide the DJ with high class monitoring at the highly-specified front end — while at the other end of the spectrum four of Martin Audio’s potent and stylish C6.8T ceiling speakers have been installed in the Ladies and Gents toilets.

The company’s attention to detail extends to the signal transmission, which uses Power over Ethernet (PoE) and VDC cable.

MSL had originally been recommended to the Colombo Group by Dan Coshan, former GM of fabric — which also operates Martin Audio systems exclusively — who now looks after one of the group’s venue (Paradise in Kilburn).

The Nest presents live music from Monday to Thursday, while at weekends live music is staged until 10pm — and the venue reopens as a dance venue between 11pm-4am. “This allows us to be more flexible and bring in different indie crowds,� says Monhardt.

For more about Martin Audio, please click to

About Martin Audio®
Founded by audio engineer David Martin in 1971, Martin Audio pioneered the use of all-horn-loaded bass designs in world-class touring loudspeaker systems for groups such as Pink Floyd, ELP and Supertramp. Located outside of London, Martin Audio now embodies a sophisticated mix of acoustic design, research, mathematical modeling and software engineering for a wide range of products in the installation, cinema and touring sound markets.

About LOUD Technologies Inc.
As the corporate parent for world-recognized brands Alvarez®, Ampeg®, Blackheart®, Crate®, EAW®, Mackie® and Martin Audio®, LOUD engineers, markets and distributes a wide range of professional audio and musical instrument products worldwide. Our product lines include sound reinforcement systems, analog and digital mixers, guitar and bass amplifiers, and acoustic and electric guitars. These products can be found in professional and project recording studios, video and broadcast suites, post-production facilities, sound reinforcement applications including houses of worship, stadiums, nightclubs, retail locations, and on major musical concert tours. The Company distributes its products primarily through retail dealers, mail order outlets and installed sound contractors. The Company has its primary operations in the United States with operations in the United Kingdom, Canada and China. For more information, please see our website: